GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Auburn and Florida haven't played in eight years thanks to the SEC's quirky interdivision scheduling model but Saturday's game in The Swamp between undefeated top 10 teams should be worth the wait. The seventh-ranked Tigers have already defeated two Top 25 clubs away from home while the No. 8 Gators face their first significant test of the season with two victories versus FCS squads and its three FBS wins against teams that are a combined 5-8.
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Auburn -3
"I think for the fans and for the players to have these games be played more often would be a benefit for everyone," Florida coach and frequent SEC schedule critic Dan Mullen told reporters. The Tigers own a 27-21 season-opening victory over No. 13 Oregon in Arlington, Texas, and won at No. 21 Texas A&M 28-20 two weeks ago before crushing Mississippi State 56-23 last week. "We're starting to peak at the right time," Auburn senior defensive end Marlon Davidson told reporters. "I feel like if we keep going and stay the pace, we're going to be a great team." The Tigers' defense is 22nd nationally in points allowed at 17.2 per game while the Gators are fifth at 8.8, yielding a total of three points in victories over Tennessee, and FCS members Tennessee-Martin and Towson.
ABOUT AUBURN (5-0, 2-0 SEC)
Freshman quarterback Bo Nix is coming off the best game of his brief career, passing for 335 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for 56 yards and a score against Mississippi State. The Tigers are second in the SEC in rushing at 251 yards per game and third nationally with 17 TDs on the ground with sophomore running back JaTarvious Whitlow (463 yards, seven scores) leading the way. Senior defensive back Jeremiah Dinson leads the club with 34 tackles - 25 solo - and has two sacks and an interception.
ABOUT FLORIDA (5-0, 2-0)
Junior quarterback Kyle Trask (77.3 completion rate) set a school record by completing 18 straight passes - the last three in a 34-3 victory over Tennessee on Sept. 21 and the first 15 in a 38-0 win over Towson last week. Sophomore tight end Kyle Pitts leads the team in touchdown catches (three) and receptions (17) while senior wide receiver Josh Hammond provides a big-play threat with a 65-yard catch and a 76-yard TD run on his resume. The defense, which is tied for second nationally with 24 sacks, is expected to get a boost with the return of junior cornerback CJ Henderson, an all-SEC preseason first-team pick, and senior defensive end Jabari Zuniga - a second-teamer - from ankle injuries.
1. Auburn has allowed 18.1 points per game since the start of 2016.
2. The Gators have outscored opponents 105-17 in the second half this season, including 57-7 in the fourth quarter.
3. The Tigers have made 299 consecutive extra points - an SEC record and the longest active streak in the FBS. The FBS record is 302 set by Florida State from 2012-16.
PREDICTION: Auburn 28, Florida 17